MORBID COMMAND, Vox Spectrum (2011, demo)

The skull:
Ordinarily, the presence of a spine is enough to disqualify a skull from being a proper Big Dumb Skull, but The Council occasionally allows it when, as here, the spine is not so much a suggestion or part of a skeleton, but some kind of wicked rat rail for a gnarly skull. And this skull is definitely gnarly. He could be bigger, but he couldn’t be dumber, or angrier, possibly because he’s sick of dragging his goofy spine around. His skull buddies started calling him Snake Dickskin, and that’s really starting to chap his (metaphorical) ass. They’ll be (figuratively) ribbing him, and he’ll be like, “You know I can’t get it off, because I don’t have any hands either, but if one of you fucking jokers wants to bite it off, be my fucking guest!” So far, he’s had no takers.

The music:
This is the sort of demo that might now be a classic had it come out in 1985 — a murky, sloppy slab of Teutonic death/thrash that plays up the elements of the style that would later influence black metal. But even so, demos like that only really became classic in retrospect, when the bands who made them grew up and got a little better. Had Destruction stopped with Bestial Invasion of Hell, or Kreator with End of the World or Sodom with Witching Metal, would anyone but the most diehard lovers of shitful noise care? Sure, those tapes found an audience in the early 80s, but they’re only known now because of Release from Agony, Pleasure to Kill, and Persecution Mania. And it’s not clear that Morbid Command ever reached anything near those heights before breaking up in 2013 (although I will grant they were definitely starting to get there by the time of their last split release). A certain kind of retro metalhead will love this, the kind who has bootleg Warrant and Poison and Slaughter patches on his denim and still gets kind of pissed when people think he’s boosting hair metal bands, like he’s some kind of fucking poser.
— Friar Johnsen

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